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Philadelphia is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.
Rocky statue outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia [63], located in southeastern Pennsylvania, on the southern fringe of the mid-Atlantic region, is the fourth-largest urban area in the United States and the country's sixth-largest city. Often referred to as "Philly," the city's metropolitan area encompasses twelve counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.


Center City is the "downtown" section of Philadelphia. It is bounded by South Street to the south, the Delaware River to the east, the Schuylkill River to the west, and Vine Street to the north. The 2005 Center City population, at approximately 90,000, makes it one of the more populated central business districts in the United States.

Philadelphia districts map2.png
Center City East
Philadelphia's beautiful City Hall, the Convention Center, Chinatown, dining in Washington Square West, upscale designer shops, restaurants, and hotels in the business district, all at the very heart of this big city
Center City West
Philadelphia's main museums, Chestnut and Walnut shopping and dining districts, Rittenhouse Square, and a good portion of the central business district with its big skyscrapers stand here, west of City Hall
Old City
spanning the center of the city from 6th St to the waterfront, features the Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall, Independence Hall, as well as a burgeoning young artist and student community
South Philly
Rocky, one big open air Italian market, booming nightlife and dining on South Street, endless cheap dive bars, and the real original Philly cheesesteaks
North Philly
art museums, Northern Liberties, and Temple University
West Philly
University City around University of Pennsylvania
Upper North
the off-the-beaten-path upper north and northwestern reaches of the city
the far northeastern part of town, home to Pennsylvania's most visited attraction, Franklin Mills Mall


Philadelphia, often called the "Birthplace of America" and referred to as the "new Athens" early in its existence, is the birthplace of America's modern democracy. Founded by William Penn in the late 17th century, the city's name translates to "City of Brotherly Love" and has been a seat of freedom since its inception; originally founded by Quakers, the colony promoted religious freedom among its residents in stark contrast to the England of the time.


Known for its role in the American Revolutionary War, Philadelphia saw the convening of the Continental Congress as well as the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Shortly after the nation's inception took place in Philadelphia, the city was named the nation's capital, a role it filled from 1790 until 1800, when Washington, D.C. took over.

Benjamin Franklin, probably the city's most famous resident, was responsible for the city's alternative title, the "new Athens." While Franklin's most famous experiment dealt with the conducting of electricity, he was also responsible for the country's first insurance company, the city's first public library and the first fire department; Franklin also played a great role in establishing the city's postal system as well as inventing new conveniences such as bifocal lenses and the Franklin Stove.

Philadelphia has seen its skyline and its name in lights throughout the years in such famous films as the "Rocky" series, as well as films like namesake "Philadelphia" and many of Philadelphia native M. Night Shyamalan's thrillers.

The Liberty Bell is located right in the center of Philadelphia inside of a pavilion near Independence Hall. The Liberty Bell is a major piece in Philly's history. The Liberty Bell was rung to announce the news of the passage of the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1828 in Great Britain. John Sartain in his book, Reminiscences of a Very Old Man, claims the Bell was cracked during this announcement: "The final passage of the Emancipation Act by the British Parliament is linked to a bit of Philadelphia history. On receipt of the news in Philadelphia the Liberty Bell in the tower of the State House was rung, and cracked in the ringing. When I was up in the tower in 1830, two years after, viewing the cracked bell for the first time, Downing, who was then the custodian of Independence Hall, told me of it and remarked that the bell refused to ring for a British Act, even when the Act was a good one."


The Philadelphia area's 6.2 million inhabitants comprise a diverse group of almost every nationality. Philadelphia's primary cultural influences can be seen in its plethora of Irish pubs, the city's Italian Market, the Chinatown District, and the Reading Terminal which plays host to a diverse crowd of merchants - from first-generation European and Asian immigrants to the area's local Amish and Mennonite farmers.


Philadelphia's economy is as diverse as the population that inhabits the city. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange, the oldest one in America, has been in operation since 1790. In addition the city is host to several Fortune 500 companies, including Comcast (one of the nation's largest cable television provider), CIGNA insurance, Aramark, and Lincoln Financial Group.

Dating back to the city's roots as the nation's first capital, the federal's government presence is also strong in Philadelphia. The United States Mint is located near Philadelphia's historic district and the Philadelphia division of the Federal Reserve Bank is close to that. Thanks to this governmental presence Philadelphia plays host to a large number of prestigious law firms and is considered one of the nation's centers of law.

The Pennsylvania Railroad, once the largest railroad company in the world, continues to influence Philadelphia's economy under the Amtrak name. Amtrak's second-busiest station, 30th Street Station, is on the west bank of the Schuylkill River and employs many Philadelphians in customer service, engineering, accounting, and IT jobs at the station.

Finally, many medical schools, pharmaceutical companies, and medical technology firms make their homes in and around Philadelphia, arguably making it the nation's healthcare capital.


Philadelphia has a humid continental climate with four distinct seasons. Winters are cold and often snowy, with temperatures usually hovering around 32°F (0°C) during the colder months. Average annual snowfall is 24 inches (59 cm) which is spread out mainly from December to March, but the area is sometimes hit by devastating blizzards that can dump up to half that total or even more on the city in one day, such as in 1996 when a single storm dumped 30.7 inches (78 cm) of snow on the city in just a couple days.

Spring and fall are rather pleasant, with temperatures in the 60s and 70s F (15°C - 25°C). Summers are hot and humid, and conditions can get quite unpleasant when the air temperature is near 90°F (32°C) and humidity is high.

Get in

By plane

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) [64] is the largest airport in the Delaware Valley, just minutes from the city and is served by taxis and the SEPTA R1 Regional Rail Line. Taxis offer a flat rate of $28.50 from the airport to Center City. The R1 railway line serves each terminal throughout the day until approximately midnight and takes about twenty minutes to travel between the airport and center city Philadelphia, making stops at all major commuter tunnel stations: 30th Street Station (Amtrak), Suburban Station (Penn Center, City Hall, Center City) and Market East Station (East Market Street, The Gallery, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Reading Terminal). Tickets for the R1 train can be purchased onboard the train, cash-only, for about $9. Alternately, the #37 SEPTA bus stops at all terminals (Directly outside baggage claim) and goes into South Philadelphia, terminating at the Broad Street Line subway station "Snyder." The trip costs $2 cash, payable to the driver.

The predominant carrier at PHL is US Airways [65], which offers flights to destinations throughout the US and Europe, as well as a handful to Latin America. Southwest [66] has become US Airways' main domestic competitor at PHL since 2004, and the two airlines constantly attempt to outbid each others fares on many trunk routes.

Alternatively, you can fly to Newark International Airport (EWR) or Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), each of which has a more or less direct connection by Amtrak to 30th Street Station (1 hour from EWR; 80 minutes from BWI). Other New York and Washington-area airports are much less convenient.

However, PHL is not the only airport in Philadelphia. The city also has PNE, the Northeast Philadelphia Airport. PNE is Pennsylvania's 6th busiest airport. It opened in 1945, which was a great relief to the city, in which PHL (then called the Philadelphia Municipal Airport) was shut down

By train

The city is a major hub along Amtrak's [67] Northeast Corridor and Keystone lines, with frequent trains (at least once an hour during the day) from some of the nation's largest cities. Inbound trains from Washington and New York arrive at least once an hour during the day; 30th Street Station is also part of Amtrak's Acela High Speed Corridor which allows for faster travel times between the major Northeast Corridor cities. The Keystone and Pennsylvanian trains arrive in Philadelphia many times throughout the day, with Keystone service between Harrisburg and Philadelphia arriving between ten and fourteen times each day and Pennsylvanian service between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia arriving once each day. Additionally, Amtrak provides service to Vermont, Virginia, Charlotte, and overnight service to Florida and New Orleans.

It's also possible to get to Philadelphia from New York via commuter rail. Using this method, one would take New Jersey Transit from Penn Station to Trenton and then transfer to SEPTA's R7 regional rail. While this is about a third the price of Amtrak service from New York, it is more than an hour slower.

All SEPTA regional commuter lines stop at the SEPTA Platform at 30th Street Station. Commuter rail is an efficient way to see the scenic Philadelphia suburbs and enjoy the shopping that the city's 'burbs have to offer. New Jersey transit to and from Atlantic City makes stops around the clock at the station. SEPTA's Market-Frankford Elevated Line Subway stops just one block outside the station at a newly-renovated station and is efficient for travel between 30th Street, Old City, and West Philadelphia.

As a last resort, and most costly depending on destination, 30th Street Station has a taxi platform just outside the main entrance that is served by all major Philadelphia taxi companies. Several rental car agencies have cars at 30th St Station.

By car

Philadelphia is located at the crossroads of many of the region's and the nation's most vital Interstates. Interstate 95 runs along the Eastern edge of Philadelphia as it traverses the East coast from Maine to Miami. In addition, Philadelphia is linked to the Pennsylvania Turnpike which traverses the state from East to West. The Northeast Extension of the Turnpike connects Philadelphia to the Poconos and Wilkes-Barre-Scranton. Philadelphia is also served by Interstates 76 and 676, which connect directly to the New Jersey Turnpike and Atlantic City Expressway, and indirectly to the Garden State Parkway. Within the city, Route 1 (also called the Roosevelt Expressway) as well as Roosevelt Boulevard serves as a connector for Northeast Philadelphia and Center City. There are also bridges across the Delaware River that link Philadelphia to New Jersey. Of these bridges are Tacony Palmyra Bridge (Route 73), the Betsy Ross Bridge (Route 90), the Benjamin Franklin Bridge (US 30) and the Walt Whitman Bridge (I-76).

Parking - It is important to consider that Philadelphia is a city of 1.4 million and the center of a metro area of 6 million, and as such, the roads are congested round-the-clock and the parking is far from cheap. Should you choose to bring a car, check with your hotel about parking in the city. Legal street parking is available but is very difficult to find close to Center City attractions or hotels. Secured parking garages can cost $10-$35 per day or higher in some cases. In the historic district, there were several parking options under $20. Visitors should also be aware that the Philadelphia Parking Authority is renowned (even notorious) for its efficiency and PPA parking enforcement personnel are as quick to write tickets as they are unlikely to yield to a violator's plea for leniency. Tickets that are not paid promptly quickly accumulate additional penalty fees. It is also worth mentioning that the only coins that the meters accept are dollar coins and quarters. Putting other coins in the meter will not give you extra time. Fortunately, depending on where you are in the city, a quarter can give you up to a half hour of parking. However, in such busy places such as Chinatown and Center City, a quarter can get you a measly eight minutes of parking. Recently, a new parking method has been brought about in the city. Although there are still parking meters throughout the city, some areas have a kiosk in which patriots can use bills (not just quarters!) to print a ticket in which they leave on the dashboard.

Traffic - In terms of congestion Center City Philadelphia compares favorably to most large US cities. Gridlock does occur, however, particularly during rush hour. Traffic generally moves at the slowest pace in the Chinatown neighborhood, on the numbered streets west of Broad and in the South Street and Olde City areas on weekend evenings. Broad street is "nicely" congested. The most heavily-travelled roads in the area are I-95, I-676/I-76 (The Schuylkill Expressway aka "The Surekill"), which connects Center City to the various suburbs west of the city, and I-476, the "Blue Route," which curves from the south to the west of Philadelphia, connecting I-95 with I-76 and, beyond that, the PA Turnpike. Rush-hour delays are common on all these roadways: During the a.m. rush-hour I-95 south-bound typically backs up between the Bridge St. and Girard Ave. exits and eastbound Rt. 76 (The Schuylkill Expressway)typically jams from Gladwynne to 30th Street. During the evening rush-hour, I-95 usually slows from the Bridge St. to Academy Rd. exits. On 676 and the west-bound Schuylkill traffic can be stop-and-go from roughly Broad St. potentially all the way to the so-called "Conshohocken Curve," just east of the town of the same name, effectively doubling the time it normally takes to drive from Center City to the PA Turnpike entrance at King of Prussia. Anyone planning to drive through Philadelphia during either the am or pm rush hours would do well to anticpate the above-described traffic conditions and plan accordingly. In 2009, there has been roadwork in the late p.m./early a.m. hours on I-76 and I-95, thus intensifying the traffic on those main routes.

By bus

Philadelphia is served by the Greyhound, Trailways, Bieber, and Peter Pan bus routes to cities across the United States. The city is also served by an exclusive "Chinatown Bus" service, which connects Philadelphia's Chinatown district to the Chinatown section of New York City and Washington D.C. The buses, though amazingly cheap in comparison to their more corporate competitors, are far from luxurious; they also use small terminals in both Chinatown districts, which can be daunting and undesirable for a first trip or any trip. But if it's a bargain you're looking for, the Chinatown buses are by far the best one you'll find between the two cities.

  • Apex Bus, [1]. The New York City stop is at 88 East Broadway. The stop for Philadelphia is on 121 N 11th Street. The ride is only about 1 hour and 30 minutes. $20 one way, $35 round-trip (from NYC).
  • Today's Bus, [2]. The New York City stop is at 28 Allen St. The stop for Philadelphia is on 121 N 11th Street. No advance purchase is required. $12 each way (from NYC).
  • New Century Travel, [3]. Offers service from both New York and Washington D.C. The New York City stop is at 88 East Broadway. The stop for Philadelphia is at 1015 Arch St. This bus is commonly called the "Chinatown Bus" because the pick up/drop off spot in Philadelphia is located in the outskirts of Chinatown and the likewise location in New York is also in Chinatown. $20 round-trip (from NYC).
  • Megabus, [4]. Provides service from New York City; fares start at $1 when ordered far enough in advance. Buses arrive and depart from the south side of John F Kennedy Boulevard, just west of 30th Street near 30th Street Station.
  • BoltBus, [5]. Provides service from New York City; fares start at $1 when ordered far enough in advance. Buses arrive and depart from 30th Street and Market Street, near 30th Street Station.
  • Bieber Tours, ""directions=""phone="", [6]. Provides roundtrip service from Philadelphia Bus Terminal to Allentown and other eastern Pennsylvania locations.

If you buy tickets online, be sure to get on the right bus. Some companies trick you into taking the wrong bus and then charge you again.

By boat

The RiverLink and Freedom Ferry services [68] provide travel from Philadelphia to neighboring Camden, NJ between April and September. The service provides direct service to Camden's Susquehanna Bank Center on the Waterfront, a popular concert venue for the Philadelphia area. Access to the other waterfront attractions, including an aquarium, is also provided by the ferry service.

Get around

By foot

Philadelphia is one of America's most walkable cities. This has been taken advantage of and Philadelphia is marked extremely well by "Walk! Philadelphia" signs that are placed on each block, sometimes only several feet apart, that guide visitors toward shopping, dining, gallery perusing, cultural enjoyment, local must-sees and public transportation should it need to be taken. The city has two very walkable shopping districts as well as the walkable Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which is home to many museums, including the Franklin Institute and the Philadelphia Museum of Art that was made famous in the Rocky series of movies.

By bus

Phlash Bus - Philadelphia has a seasonal (May-October) trolley bus for tourists called the Phlash. It runs in a 20-stop East-West circuit of major tourist locations, from the Museum of Art in the West to Penn's Landing in the East. Free for kids under 5 and for senior citizens 65 & up. It is $2 per ride or $5 for a one day pass. Look for the purple trolley bus or the winged purple & blue logo [69].[70]

SEPTA Bus - SEPTA has an extensive bus network in Philadelphia. Cash fare is $2. tokens $1.45. Seniors ride free.

By train

Commuter rail

SEPTA Regional Rail [71] regional commuter rail trains stop in Center City at underground commuter rail tunnels. The two major center city stops, Suburban Station and Market East Station, will drop you off right in the middle of it all. Suburban Station is near City Hall, the shopping district, the financial district, and many cultural attractions; Market East Station connects to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, shopping at The Gallery ("Four blocks long, four stories high!") and the Reading Terminal Market, a famous local marketplace. Traveling within Center City is considered a "Zone 1" fare and will cost $3. Seniors ride for $1.

New Jersey Transit RiverLINE [72] is a lightrail line serving 20 stations between Trenton and Camden, NJ. The line connects with DRPA's PATCO Hi-Speed Line as well as SEPTA's R7 Regional Rail line between Philadelphia and Trenton. RiverLINE travels North-South along the Delaware River entirely in New Jersey. One-way fare between Trenton and Camden, NJ is $1.35. There are reduced fare options for senior citizens, children and families. Monthly passes are available.


SEPTA [73]operates two subway lines and a Subway-Surface line that serve Center City Philadelphia as well as the smaller neighborhoods on the city's fringe. Cash fares are $2, but one can buy tokens ($1.45) in packets of two, five or ten. Seniors ride free with ID.

Broad Street (Orange) Line - sometimes called the Orange line - runs North-South underneath Broad Street, one of Philadelphia's two major streets. It serves Temple University, City Hall, the Sports Stadium Complex and everywhere in between. The BSL also has a "spur" called the Broad-Ridge Spur that serves Chinatown and 8th & Market Streets in Center City. Free transfers from the Broad Street Line to the Market-Frankford Line can be made at City Hall Station (BSS) to 15 St. (MFL); a free interchange with Subway-Surface Lines can be made at the City Hall station. Transfers from a subway to a bus or from a bus to a subway cost $0.75 and must be purchased before the bus or train leaves the station. This transfer is also required from the 8th St. Ridge Avenue spur to the 8th MFL station.

Market-Frankford (Blue) Line - sometimes called the Blue line or the "El" - runs North-South from the Frankford Transportation Center in Northeast Philadelphia to 2nd and Markets St., then East-West between 2nd and Markets St. and 69th Street Terminal in West Philadelphia. The line runs underground beneath Market Street from 2nd to 45 Streets within Center City, Old City, and University City, and is elevated elsewhere. An interchange with the Broad-Ridge Spur is available at 8th Street Station; an interchange with SEPTA's Regional Rail is available at 11th St. to Market East Station, 15 St. to Suburban Station, and at 30 St. to the 30th Street Amtrak Station; a free interchange with the Broad Street Line is available at 15th Street Station. A free interchange with the Subway-Surface Lines is at 13 St. Station.

Subway-Surface Lines - sometimes called the Green line is actually a set of five streetcar lines: 10 (Lancaster), 11 (Woodland), 13 (Chester), 34 (Baltimore), and 36 (Elmwood). Each runs along a different Avenue in West Philadelphia, but all meet at a subway portal at 40 St. and Woodland Avenue (except the #10, which joins the subway at a portal at 36th St.) to run in a streetcar subway under the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University to 30 St., then under Market Street from 30 to Juniper St, near 13 St. It shares 30th, 15th, and Juniper/13th St. stations with the MFL, but is the only subway stopping at 19th and 22nd Streets along Market St. There is a free interchange between the lines at all three shared stations. There is no cross platform interchange because the MFL has high platforms, and the Subway-Surface has low platforms, and these have to be on the right side of the streetcar.

PATCO Hi-Speed Line [74] operated by the Port Authority of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, travels between 16th and Locust Streets past 8th and Market Streets in Center City Philadelphia and Lindenwold Station in Southern New Jersey. PATCO runs underground in the city and rises above ground to cross over the Delaware River on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. It then runs underground in the center of Camden, then is above ground through the rest of its trip in New Jersey. There is no free interchange between SEPTA's subways or regional rail and the PATCO service. The PATCO line is the easiest way to access Camden, NJ's waterfront attractions, including the New Jersey State Aquarium and the Tweeter Center at the Waterfront concert venue. Fees for the service are based on the distance of travel. Those rates are as follows:

  • Lindenwold, Ashland & Woodcrest Stations: $2.45
  • Haddonfield, Westmont & Collingswood Stations: $2.15
  • Ferry Avenue (Camden) Station: $1.85
  • Broadway & City Hall (Camden) Stations: $1.15
  • For travel between all Pennsylvania stations: $1.15
  • For travel between all New Jersey stations: $1.30

By taxi

Taxis are regulated by the Philadelphia Parking Authority and display a medallion license on their hood. As a result, Go2Go does not serve Philadelphia and the surrounding area. All taxis are metered. Rates are $2.70 at flagfall and $2.30 per mile. There is also .50 cent gas surcharge. For trips from the airport, a flat rate, including fuel surcharge, of $28.50 applies. An additional $1 per passenger ($3 maximum) after the first passenger will be charged on flat rate trips between the Airport and Center City for those passengers over the age of 12. Tipping for good service is common.

By car

Philadelphia is also home to PhillyCarShare [75] and Zipcar, where, after registering, you can book vehicles by the hour or day for significantly less than a rental car. PhillyCarShare has vehicles including Toyota Pruises, Volkswagen Beetles and Mini Coopers stationed at various locations called 'pods' around Philadelphia. You first book online, and then use your personal key to unlock the vehicle and away you go. Rental is $5.90 to $7.90 per hour, or approximately $50 for a full day, plus a few dollars booking fee and $0.09 per mile traveled.

By trolley

SEPTA once operated many lines of trolleys and had been replacing them with buses. However, the 15 line (running along Girard Avenue) has recently been renovated and vintage trolley cars are now in use on this route. SEPTA has been studying which other (if any) routes on which to resume trolley service, as many miles of rail are still in place.


Philadelphia is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.

Public art

Much of Philadelphia's art requires not a dollar to see and not a building to enter. Philadelphia has the largest collection of public art in America, courtesy of the city's innovative Mural Arts Program [76], designed to stop graffiti and enliven the city's buildings. Other public art of note includes the many glass mosaics found throughout the city; a sampling of this great public art can be seen on South Street east of Broad.

Center city Philadelphia offers many public statue displays. "The Clothespin" is a sculpture by Claes Oldenburg that resembles a clothespin located just across from City Hall on West Market Street. LOVE Park, serving as a terminus between City Hall and the museum-laden Benjamin Franklin Parkway, features a famous LOVE statue that has come to represent the brotherly love that Philadelphia was founded on. The site once was the city's (and perhaps the nation's) most popular skating attraction until new legislation and remodeling efforts outlawed skating in the park. Just across the JFK Boulevard from City Hall at the Municipal Services Building, visitors can find many larger than life game pieces from popular board games as well as a statue of former mayor Frank Rizzo.

More statues can be found throughout Fairmount Park [77] along Kelly Drive on east side of the Schuykill River. Sculptures by Remmington can be found on the path, while several sculptures by Alexander Milne Calder can be found in Laurel Hill Cemetery [78], which is located just off the paved walking path.


  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, +1 215 763-8100, [7]. Tu-Th, Su 10AM-5PM, F 10AM-8:45PM. Famous on the outside for the steps seen in the film "Rocky" and famous on the inside for one of the world's largest collections of art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is home to many rotating collections as well as a standard selection of pieces always on display. In addition, the PMA is opening a new exhibition space in the Perelman Building on Pennsylvania Ave which will display sculpture, costumes, textiles, prints, photographs, and design. $14 adults, $12 seniors, $10 students, AAA discount $1. First Sunday of the month pay what you wish.
  • Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, +1 215 299-1000, [8]. M-F 10AM-4:30PM, Sa-Su 10AM-5PM. Not just a natural history museum, this institution also has an active research arm and library. Highlights of the museum include a 2-story dinosaur exhibit, a butterfly walk-through area, and a children's nature center with live animals. It is the oldest natural science research institution and museum in the Americas. $10 adults, $8 children/seniors/ military/students, AAA discount $1.
  • The African-American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St, +1 215 574-0380, [9]. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM. Built to preserve, interpret, and exhibit achievements of African Americans. $8 adults, $6 children/seniors.
  • Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia History, 15 South 7th St, +1 215 685-4830, [10]. W-Sa 1PM-5PM. This museum, "where history inspires the future," is located just around the corner from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, features a hands-on and comprehensive history of America's "birthplace" and founding city. Unique to the museum is a "walkable" map of the region on the floor of the museum. In minutes, you can walk between suburban Montgomery County and the heart of Philadelphia in center city! $5 adults, $3 seniors/children, free for children under 12.
  • Independence Seaport Museum, Penn's Landing, +1 215 925-5439, [11]. Daily 10AM-5PM. This museum has lots of interesting displays regarding the maritime history of Philadelphia, from colonial times through the days of slave-trading to the Industrial Revolution. Highlights include a mockup of a navigation room and a place where you can view woodworkers handcrafting rowboats. The museum has some great views of the Delaware River and the Ben Franklin Bridge. $9 adults, $6 children, $8 seniors/students.
  • The Franklin Institute Science Museum, 222 North 20th St, +1 215 448-1200, [12]. Daily 9:30AM-5PM, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve & Day, and New Year's Day. This museum attracts some of the top scientific exhibits in the world, including the Titanic Artifacts exhibit, an upcoming exhibit of the Egyptian Treasures found in King Tut's tomb, and the 300th birthday celebration of Ben Franklin himself, which was in 2006. Be sure to walk through the giant-sized human heart, a favorite with kids. Also features planetarium and the immense Tuttleman IMAX Theater and its four-story, domed screen with fifty-six speakers. This museum is incredibly popular with as a field trip destination for local schools, so be advised that mornings and early afternoons on weekdays may be crowded with schoolchildren. $13.75 adults, $11 children 4-11 years old and senior citizens.
  • The Mutter Museum, 19 South 22nd St, +1 215 563-3737, [13]. Daily 10AM-5PM, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. Originally open only to medical students, this collection of medical oddities is quickly becoming one of the city's most popular attractions. Not for the faint of heart, this museum includes lots of items in formaldehyde, lots of skeletons, and one of the only men to ever decompose into soap. $12 adults, $8 children/seniors/students.
  • The Palestra. Philadelphia is known for its rich college basketball history, and the Palestra, located on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, is a museum of the Philadelphia Big 5 programs (La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph's, Temple, and Villanova). The arena serves as the home court for the Penn Quakers basketball team and is the court for many basketball games between the city's colleges.
  • The Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, +1 215 963-0667, [14]. Daily 9AM-4:30PM, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. A fantastic place to take young children. As the name says, everyone is encouraged to touch the exhibits. $9.95.
  • The National Museum of American Jewish History, 55 North 5th St, +1 215 923-3811, [15].
  • Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia. If you're into rare books at all, take the free tour, offered at 11AM M-F, of the Philadelphia Free Library's amazing rare book collection. Besides the Gutenberg Bible, highlights include medieval manuscripts, children's book illustrations, and the stuffed body of Poe's pet raven Grip, the raven who inspired "The Raven."
  • Rosenbach Museum and Library, 2008 DeLancey, +1 215 732-1600, [16]. Hourly tours (Tu-F, 11AM-4PM) take visitors through this fine old townhouse owned by a pair of rare-book dealers, which has grown into a museum and archive. The Maurice Sendak room, full of his sketches and pages, also contains Herman Melville's own bookcase, which holds the copy of Moby-Dick he inscribed to Hawthorne. A handsome double library on another floor holds Joyce's manuscript for Ulysses. On the top floor, poet Marianne Moore's Greenwich Village living room has been installed, to go along with the Rosenbach's trove of Moore papers.
  • University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, On South Street between 32nd and 33rd Streets, [17]. This museum houses an impressive collection of Egyptian and Greco-Roman artifacts.

Historic sites

  • Eastern State Penitentiary, 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue, [18]. "America's Most Historic Prison." It is also the site of an annual Bastille Day recreation. In October, the notoriously haunted penitentiary is home to one of the cities most popular Halloween attraction: the "Terror Behind the Walls" haunted house.
  • Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, [19]. The former home of the famous American author of mystery and the macabre.
  • Fairmount Water Works, [20]. Features information on local watersheds as well as interpretive art.
  • Independence National Historic Park, [21]. Philadelphia's signature historic site features the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Constitution Hall (home of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution). It also features historic buildings from the city's revolutionary past, approximately 20 of which are open to the public.


  • Fairmount Park, [22]. Technically, Fairmount Park covers all of the city parks in Philadelphia such as Pennypack Park in the northeast and Wissahickon Valley Park in the northwest, but the name also refers more specifically to the large park on both sides of the Schuykill River northwest of Center City, which is the largest urban park in the United States. East Fairmount Park is home to the Smith Memorial Playground, Dell East Concerts, and a driving range. West Fairmount Park, much of which has been renamed The Centennial District, includes the Mann Music Center (where The Philadelphia Orchestra plays in summer), the Japanese TeaHouse, Please Touch Museum for kids in a restored Memorial Hall (from the nation's Centennial celebration). Wisshickon Valley is just that, with many hiking trails, the Valley Green Inn (a picturesque place to eat), and a walking/biking, horeseback riding trail know as the Forbidden Drive.
  • Clark Park, 43rd & Chester, [23]. Clark Park is an outdoor music and arts festival area in West Philadelphia.
  • LOVE Park. A square near City Hall, known for its Robert Indiana "LOVE" sculpture (dating to the American Bicentennial) and for attracting skateboarders from around the world (despite a ban on skating in the park). Since 2002, this ban has been rigorously enforced (and the park renovated to discourage skateboarders). Free wireless [24] access is now available in the park.
  • Rittenhouse Square. One (southwest) of William Penn's original "five squares" of public, open space in the city, Rittenhouse Square sits among classic and classy Rittenhouse hotels and residences and attracts people from around the world. It is named after David Rittenhouse, a clockmaker and astronomer. Today, you can find Rittenhouse Row, where there are tons of places nearby to eat, stay and take in the arts and culture of Philadelphia. Some places to eat are are: gelato and sorbetti shop Capogiro, Starr restaurant Continental and the Marathon Grill. Lodging includes the Four Seasons Hotel, AKA Rittenhouse Square, Rittenhouse Hotel, and the Ritz-Carlton. Cultural hot spots are the Kimmel Center, Wilma Theater, Prince Music Theater and the Philadelphia Horticultural Society. Another activity that one can take part in when in Rittenhouse is shopping. Some places include Barnes & Noble Booksellers (with a Starbucks Cafe inside on the 3rd floor), Armani Exchange, Philadelphia Runner, Guess, and just a few blocks away is the Liberty Place.
  • Washington Square (southeast), Franklin Square (northeast), Logan Square (northwest), and City Hall (center) make up the other four original "squares" created by William Penn. Four of the five squares (Logan Square is better known as Logan Circle) are somewhat symmetrically located at the four corners of an imaginary square surrounding the very center of Center City Philadelphia, now occupied by City Hall. The center of City Hall's Square is a large compass in the ground. There are four archways leading into it. Logan Circle, named after William Penn's secretary James Logan, is considered the gateway to Fairmount Park and the Art Museum area. Up until 1823, Logan Circle was an execution site as well as burial ground. Located in Logan Circle is the Swann Memorial Fountain. Washington Square is near Independence Hall. It was also used as a burial ground and in addition, as a potter's field. Franklin Square is located on the outskirts of Chinatown at 6th and Race Streets. It is home to the Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel, has a Philadelphia-themed miniature golf course, two playgrounds, and a gift shop. Like Logan Circle, Franklin Square also has a fountain. New technology causes the water to shoot lower on rainy or windy days so by standers do not become wet.
  • FDR Park, known as "The Lakes" to the locals, is in South Philadelphia near the stadium district. It offers many activities such as fishing, bird watching, tennis, baseball and rugby. There is also a skate park underneath the bridge that runs throughout the park. Located within FDR is Bellaire Manor.
  • Pennypack Park- Large city park ranging throughout Northeast Philadelphia. This park includes creeks, waterfalls, biking trails, dog walking trails, and home to the Pennypack Park Music Festival. The music festival originally began in the 1970's, but ceased to exist in the 90s, due to insufficient funds. The music festival came back to life in 2000 with funding from local organizations. Pennypack is a thriving park that is utilized by the Northeast residents daily.


  • The Philadelphia Zoo [79] America's first zoo is located just across the Schuylkill River and features just about every animal one could ever ask to see. From the new "pouncing pumas" to the traditional lions, tigers and bears, the zoo has it all. During the summer months, the Philadelphia Zoo offers "Zoo Balloon" tours, which offer a great perspective of Philadelphia and its surrounding areas at a high altitude.



  • Philadelphia Phlash, [25]. The Philadelphia Phlash is a convenient trackless trolley ride between downtown hotels and 19 key Philadelphia locations, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Old City and Logan Square. $2 each time you board, $5 all-day individual pass.
  • Big Bus Tours, [26]. See the city of Philadelphia from a London-style double-decker bus, complete with an open top! Commentary on all of Philadelphia's sights is offered. Adults $27, Children $10 for a 24-hour pass.
  • Philadelphia Trolley Works, [27]. Take a scenic tour of Philadelphia in a Victorian-era trolley, hose and carriage, LandShark, or double-decker bus. Hosts offer commentary on all that you see throughout Philadelphia. Prices vary depending on length of tour and vehicle.
  • Ride the Ducks, [28]. One of the most notorious tours in Philadelphia involves not colonial works, but ducks. Riding the ducks, complete with a "quacker," is a great way to see Philadelphia by land before seeing the skyline and scenic historic Philadelphia from the waters of the Delaware. And you're sure to draw looks from all the locals with each quack, who generally view the ducks as a nuisance.
  • Once Upon A Nation, [29]. See Philadelphia's historic district with colonial-themed tour guides and bystanders. Once Upon A Nation showcases the Philadelphia of the 18th Century and pays close attention to the city' revolutionary heritage. In 2006, Once Upon A Nation will reopen Franklin Square, one of Penn's original five squares, as a tribute to Benjamin Franklin's 300th birthday. The square lies just across from the historic district and will feature the Liberty Carousel among other attractions.
  • Philadelphia in the Movies Tour, [30]. Saturday 10AM-12:30PM. Discover a little Philadelphia history that's not in the textbooks. Visit the locations where all the action took place in such films as Rocky, Trading Places, The Sixth Sense, Philadelphia, In Her Shoes, and many more. Learn what happened, what didn’t and what did but never made it to the screen.
  • Constitutional Guided Walking Tour of Philadelphia, +1 215-525-1776, [31]. Philadelphia is one of America's most walkable cities, so what better way to see it than on foot? Get up close and personal with history on this 75-minute, 1.25 mile walking tour of the historic district. The tour showcases over 15 of Philadelphia's most popular tourist attractions including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Benjamin Franklin's grave site, and the house where Thomas Jefferson wrote much of the Declaration of Independece! Frequent departures throughout the day at the Independence Visitors Center at 6th & Market Streets.
  • Spirits of '76 Ghost Tour, +1 215-525-1776, [32]. Philadelphia's got ghosts, come check them out! The Spirits of '76 Ghost Tour is One Part History, Two Parts Haunt! See more than 20 haunted sites on a 75-minute walking adventure through the cobblestone streets of Philadelphia. Hear stories about the ghosts of the founding fathers including Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, see historic cemeteries such as Old Pine Street and St. Peter's, and learn about Leo Callahan and Edgar Allen Poe. Tours depart from the Cosi Restaurant at 4th and Chestnut Street. Tours run from April to beyond Halloween.


  • Every year, Philadelphia is host to the Philadelphia International Championship, which is a 14.4 mile bike race from Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the hillside community of Manayunk, which is the site of the Manayunk Wall. 2009 marks its 25th year running. The event usually takes place in early June
  • The Philadelphia Marathon is also another annual event. This 26.2 mile race is held every 3rd Sunday in November. There are three races: the full marathon, half marathon and the Rothman Institute 8k.
  • Every year in the beginning of July, an All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival is held down Penns Landing. Cost is $5 and children under 2 are free.
  • AIDS Walk Philly occurs ever October. It is an 8.2 mile that begins and ends at Eakins Oval (in front of the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum). The first walk started in 1987 and raised $33,000 that year. Since then, the event became annual.

Theater and music

Philadelphia is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.

  • Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, 215-574-3550, [33]. America's oldest theatre, celebrating its 200th anniversary season in 2009. Shows regularly sell out, and travelers are advised to buy in advance. The theater is a self-producing, non-profit regional theater.
  • The Philadelphia Orchestra, [34]. Founded in 1900, the Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the most famous and widely traveled orchestras in the world. Performs in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Kimmel Center, 260 South Broad St, +1 215 893-1999, [35]. Showcases a variety of performing arts from chamber music, dance, drama, orchestral, jazz & pop.
  • The Mask and Wig Club, 310 South Quince St, [36]. Mask and Wig has presented comedy, music, and dancing to the University of Pennsylvania, to Philadelphia and to audiences across the country since 1889 and is a legend amongst Philadelphia theatre-goers. Each Spring, Mask and Wig performs a full-length musical comedy at its historic Clubhouse.
  • The Khyber, 56 South 2nd St, [37]. A storied home of many Philadelphia indie acts, The Khyber is an Old City attraction that can't be missed by music enthusiasts.
  • The Barbary, Frankford and Delaware Ave. Varied DJ nights all week. Hipster night spot.
  • Tower Theatre, 69th Street in Upper Darby, [38]. The Tower Theater is located just across from the last stop on the westbound Market-Frankford Line. Originally a Great Depression-era movie theater, the venue is now home to some of the biggest names in music and showbusiness each year.
  • The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St, [39]. Typically features indie/alternative acts and local acts.
  • The Fillmore at the TLA (formally Theater of Living Arts), On South Street between 3rd and 4th Streets. The TLA is a smaller, more intimate venue that often features a good mix of national acts and local musicians.
  • The Electric Factory, 421 North 7th St, [40]. The Electric Factory is one of the leading indoor music venues and is Philadelphia's most celebrated location for live music.
  • Academy of Music, At Broad and Locust Streets, [41]. The Academy is the oldest grand opera house in the United States still being used for its original purpose. The Academy also provides the Philadelphia area with interesting and popular concerts, ballets, Broadway shows, and other events. Tours of the Academy, focusing on its inspiring history and current renovations, are available by contacting the manager's office.
  • The World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St, [42]. World Life Cafe offers an eclectic offering of concerts, from jazz to rock, from locally and nationally-renowned artists.
  • R5 Productions, [43]. Shows are at several venues.
  • Wanamaker Organ, At the Macy's Center City store in downtown Philadelphia, [44]. The largest operational musical instrument in the world is played twice a day in the store, six days each week.
  • Walking Fish Theatre, 2509 Frankford Ave., 215.427.WALK, [45]. The Walking Fish Theater is located in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia. This theater offers acting classes, workshops, shows, and hires interns from local performing arts high schools. The website for the Walking Fish has a calendar of events, a donation link, as well as a link for renting out the venue.


  • Philadelphia Phillies, [46]. The city's hometown baseball team were 2008 World Series Champions. Since 2004 the team has played at Citizens Bank Park, a new $350 million baseball-only facility in South Philadelphia that is among the best in the big leagues. The park is easily accessible on the subway and tickets start at $18. The food at the park was named as Best Ballpark Food in a survey of Food Network viewers in 2007. Keep your eye out for Dollar Dog Nights, where hot dogs are only $1.
  • Philadelphia Eagles, [47]. Philadelphia's NFL team has played at Lincoln Financial Field, next door to Citizens Bank Park, since 2003. Games routinely sell out, especially against the Eagles' division rivals—the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and Washington Redskins.
  • Philadelphia 76ers, [48]. The city's NBA team, playing at Wachovia Center, in the immediate vicinity of the two major stadiums.
  • Philadelphia Flyers, [49]. Hockey fans can also enjoy the city's NHL team, which shares Wachovia Center with the Sixers.
  • Philadelphia Union, [50]. Coming in 2010: The 16th team in Major League Soccer. Unlike Philly's teams in the four biggest sports in North America, Union will not play in South Philadelphia, but will instead play in a new soccer-specific stadium, Union Field at Chester, on the waterfront in the nearby suburb of Chester.
  • Philadelphia Independence, [51]. Coming in 2010: One of two teams set to enter Women's Professional Soccer in the 2010 season, Independence will also play in Union Field at Chester.
  • Philadelphia Passion, [52]. In 2009, Philadelphia is one of ten cities to introduce the Lingerie Football League. The rules of the NFL and the LFL are slightly different; the LFL plays 7 on 7 rather than 11.


Philadelphia is rich with educational opportunities. Universities include Temple University, Philadelphia University [80], Drexel University [81] with the only co-op program in the area, the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania [82], La Salle University [83] a major Catholic university, Saint Joseph's University [84] a Jesuit university, and The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia [85] a divinity school.

The Community College of Philadelphia [86] is Philadelphia's premier community college.

Art schools include the University of the Arts [87], one of the most prestigious art schools in America, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts [88], Moore College of Art and Design [89] an all women college, Hussian School of Art [90], and the Art Institute Philadelphia [91].

Trade schools include The Wine School of Philadelphia [92] which offers professional sommelier & winemaking diplomas, along with wine tasting classes [93].


Philadelphia's job market is ever-expanding both in the city and in its suburbs. The 975' Comcast Center is a constant reminder of the economic revitalization of Philadelphia and of Comcast's presence in the city. Comcast, a Philadelphia-founded company, plans to add between 2,000 and 3,000 jobs after the completion of its new signature tower in 2008. Additionally, a Keystone Opportunity Zone over the Powelton Rail Yards adjacent to 30th Street Station promises a bright future for jobs and new office buildings in the city.


Philadelphia is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.

  • The Shops at the Bellevue Located in the historic Bellevue at Broad and Walnut Streets, the Shops at the Bellevue offer upscale shopping and a gourmet food court. Shops include Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co., Williams-Sonoma, Origins, and Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland (Oprah loves the champagne truffles...). Aside from the gourmet foodcourt and upscale shopping, the Bellevue is also home to such upscale eateries as The Palm, Bliss, XIX and J.L. Sullivan's Speakeasy, as well as the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue.
  • The Gallery at Market East Located at 8th and Market Streets, The Gallery at Market East offers mid-range stores. It also connects to the Market-Frankford Subway Line and regional commuter trains.
  • The Shoppes at Liberty Place Located at the base of two of Philadelphia's tallest buildings, The Shoppes at Liberty Place offer upscale shopping and a mid-to-low-range food court.
  • Chestnut Street Shopping Mid-range shopping awaits on Chestnut Street, with many ma-and-pa outfits in addition to bargain big-leaguers H&M and Daffy's.
  • Walnut Street Shopping Walnut Street west of Broad is home to a range of national brands and boutiques, from the high-end Burberry, Tiffany and Diesel to locally managed Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters.
  • South Street Shopping [94] South Street between 9th and Front Streets holds a plethora of bargain stores and unique boutiques with a distinct urban Philadelphia flair. Retro Vintage, Guacamole and Condom Kingdom are among the most popular stores amidst a large amount of restaurants and bars.
  • Franklin Mills Mall If bargains are what you're looking for, Franklin Mills Mall's many outlet stores are where you need to be headed!
  • King of Prussia Mall Located in the suburbs, King of Prussia Mall is the largest mall on the east coast and offers a variety of shopping, from high-class stores like Armani to the more affordable Abercrombie and American Eagle stores.
  • The Reading Terminal Market A popular farmer's market with many vendors selling produce, meats, chocolates, and a variety of other usually handmade foodstuffs and items. Some vendors have been in business for over a century.
  • Willow Grove Park Also located in the burbs, Willow Grove Park Mall sits on what was once an amusement park for suburbanites. The mall features many mid-range stores and a suspended carousel.
  • Souvenirs Many places around Philadelphia carry souvenir items, most exclusively in the historical district (Old City) as well as the Reading Terminal Market. From the Liberty Bell to the cheesesteak, these places will help you remember the whole trip.
  • Antique Row Pine street between 9th and 13th is home to a mix of antique stores and local gift and craft boutiques. Visit the Foodery at 10th and Pine for a selection of hundreds of by-the-bottle beers from around the world, or a few blocks down, ring the bell at Halloween (1329 Pine) for an incredible jewelry store experience that can accommodate any budget.


  • The Italian Market, [53]. Home to the freshest produce and goods in Philadelphia, the Italian Market is an absolute "must" for Philadelphia visitors. Combining the hustle and bustle of a market atmosphere with friendly merchants and high-quality products, the Italian Market is both a local and national attraction.
  • Reading Terminal Market, [54]. The Reading Terminal Market is home to many of Pennsylvania's Amish merchants who sell their goods. Here, you can find some of the best baked goods and the freshest organic produce in the region. Additionally, the market features cheesesteaks and other non-Amish restaurants and shops.
  • Chinatown, [55]. East of Broad Street, East meets West. Philadelphia's Chinatown is an ethnic section of the city that can't be missed. Why settle for Chinese buffets when you can get the authentic stuff right here? There's no need to. Chinatown is located north of The Gallery at Market East and close to the Reading Terminal Market.


See the Districts articles for specific listings.

Cheesesteak at Jim's Steak with Provolone cheese and onions

Philly's most famous homegrown food is the cheesesteak, a sandwich made of a fresh roll filled with grilled shaved beef and cheese (as well as onions, mushrooms, and other optional sides). The spiritual homes of the cheesesteak are Pat's King of Steaks [95] (where 9th Street crosses Wharton & Passyunk Ave.), where the cheesesteak was invented, and Geno's Steaks (9th & Passyunk), where they claim to have improved on Pat's version. You can expect to pay around $9 for a cheesesteak, fries, and a soda at either one. Although Pat's and Geno's are the most famous cheesesteak joints, there are many others to choose from, particularly in South Philadelphia— John's Roast Pork at Snyder and alley-street Weccacoe is considered by many locals to offer a standout, and many prefer Jim's Steaks [96] or Tony Luke's [97]. Though South Philadelphia is the undisputed home of this sandwich, Steve's Prince of Steaks in Northeast Philadelphia off Cottman Avenue is outstanding. 'The Great Northeast' is also home to Chink's Steaks, a delightful drug-store throwback on Torresdale Avenue near the Delaware River. No cheesesteak aficionado can call himself such without a visit to Dalessandro's Steaks on Henry Avenue in the Roxborough section of Northwest Philadelphia (north of Manayunk and East Falls). Sonny's in Old City, on Market St between 3rd and fourth, also serves an excellent cheesesteak in a locaiton convenient to Independence Hall.

A caveat before ordering a cheesesteak, particularly at the often crowded Pat's and Geno's - know how to order. There is somewhat of a 'no soup for you' attitude at these busy and fast-service oriented establishments which can really make a tourist stand out. The way to order is as follows: It is assumed that you are going to order a cheesesteak, so unless you are not, don't specify this. First, say the type of cheese - only american, provolone, and (cheese)whiz (just 'cheese' to the cashiers) are generally available. Ask for swiss at your own risk. The only condiment that is not available in a jar outside the stand will be fried onions; with (wit) or without will specify your preference on the matter. So 'Whiz With, Provolone Without, etc. Not too complicated, and a straightforward way to have a nice local moment on your travels.

You can also find cheesesteaks at Reading Terminal Market, located at 12th and Arch Streets. Here visitors will find many stands selling produce, meats, flowers, and baked goods. Reading Terminal Market is a good place to get lunch if you are in the area. The multitude of vendors and low prices provide plenty of options for a quick meal. It's also home to one of the city's best pretzels (Fisher's).

Philadelphia's most famous snack is the salted soft pretzel, which, while shaped with the three holes like soft pretzels everywhere else, are distinctive in that they are flattened into a wide rectangle and are made in long chains in which the wide sides of the pretzels are attached. A person may typically buy two, three, or more attached pretzels at a convenience store or from a street vendor. The price is low, especially compared to national vendor brands sold in other cities and in malls. Unlike pretzels served in many other cities, Philly pretzels are not served hot, but at room temperature and often eaten with mustard.

The most famous sweet snack is from the Tastykake brand. Their main factory is on Hunting Park Avenue east of Fairmount Park, so every flavor and type of TastyKake is sold in Philadelphia, and they are usually extra fresh, since they do not have to travel far to the retail outlet. Still, to out-of-towners, the appeal of these over other mass-produced confections may not be immediately apparent.

Also unique to the Philadelphia area are Goldenberg's Peanut Chews [98], a bit-sized chocolate bar with a chewy peanut center. Originally developed as a high-energy ration bar during WWI, but still popular today!

Scrapple is a favorite comfort food of native Philadelphians. Best described as a spicy breakfast pork product, scrapple is of Pennsylvania Dutch origin and is made from pork by-products (you're better off not knowing exactly what's in it) and cornmeal, cooked into a thick pudding, formed into a loaf, sliced, and fried. You'll find it on the breakfast menu of many neighborhood diners in Philly. Ask for it very crispy.

Some other Philly foods include Philadelphia Cream Cheese, water ice, and hoagies.

Located in the far Northeast of Philadelphia at Byberry and Roosevelt Boulevard is the Kraft/Nabisco factory. Drive by with your windows down and take a whiff!

Wawa A convenience store similar in comparison to, but better than, 7-11.


Because of a quirk in Pennsylvania's complicated liquor laws, it is very expensive and inconvenient for a restaurant to get a liquor license in Philadelphia. Therefore, many of the smaller restaurants in Philadelphia, which include many of the best, are BYOB, that is, Bring Your Own Bottle. It's a charming oddity of Philadelphia restaurants that you will grow to love. So head over to your local convenience store and pick something up, or dust off that bottle you've always been meaning to open, and have a wonderful dining experience downtown.

  • Philadelphia Brewing Company produces a variety of beers. If you can't make it to the brewery (or find it in a bar) you can pick up a sampler pack (24 bottles) for around $30 at a beer distributor.
  • South Street - long narrow street in Center City with filled many bars/nightclubs/comedy clubs ranging from "dive" to "respectable".
  • Penn's Landing/Delaware Avenue - Most drinking establishments are fashionable nightclubs and loud dance clubs. They are not easy to get to, so having a car helps.
  • West Philly - many small neighborhood bars and dance clubs, Ethiopian establishments. You'll find Karaoke, blue grass and all around nice nights.
  • University of Pennsylvania- College drinking establishments around/on Chestnut Street, Spruce Street and Market Street
  • Northeast Philly, (95 N from Center City via Cottman Ave. exit, Last stop on the Market-Frankford line, Frankford transportation center, connecting to the 66 Bus.). Northeast Philly is made up of mostly Irish Catholic neighborhoods, known for pubs, bars, and after hour clubs. Frankford Avenue is home to over 25 bars from Harbison Ave. to Solly Ave. in the Northeast. Rauchet's, Coach's, The COG, Reale's, Casper's, The Last Call, The Aldine, and Tom's Pub are a few of the well known bars in this area. Great specials can be found at all of these bars. A cheap way to drink during Phillies or Eagles games is at Coach's, with a $10 all you can drink draft beer special. Paddywhacks is another popular bar in Northeast Philadelphia, located on the Roosevelt Blvd. Paddywhacks also has a location on South St. if the commute to the Northeast is too far. After hours clubs are also available in the Northeast, with the most popular club being the Yik-Yak. The Yik-Yak is open till 3:00 AM and even later for members. The diners along Frankford Ave. are a popular after-hours spot to get something to eat, including the Mayfair Diner, The Red-Robin Diner, and The Dining Car.
  • Northern Liberties, 19123. Northern Liberties is one of the most up and coming neighborhoods in Philadelphia. With recent condos and million dollar housing being built, the real estate in Northern Liberties has sky rocketed, making the scene some-what of a "yuppie" or "hipster" atmosphere. The Piazza, the newest addition to NL, is beautifully landscaped, 80,000 square foot open-air plaza with free events year-round, surrounded by three new buildings including 35 artist’s studios and boutiques, four new restaurants, 500 apartments and 50,000 square feet of office space. The Piazza is a sight to be seen in Philadelphia, surrounded by night life, restaurants, and even a bar/bowling alley, North Bowl. Northern Liberties is a great place to drink and socialize while living or visiting Philadelphia.


Philadelphia is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.


Philadelphia is home to a limited number of hostels (compared to major US and international cities). Currently, two are located within the city limits:

  • Apple Hostels of Philadelphia, 32 S Bank St, (Old City), Philadelphia, PA 19106, +1 215 922-0222 (), [56]. (,Located in downtown Philadelphia, less than 3 blocks from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, free wireless Internet (for travelers with laptops), free bed linens, no curfews, no lockouts. Affordable, clean hostel with loads of free activities, friendly & knowledgeable staff and plenty of outside tours you can book at the reception desk that's open 24 hours.)
  • HI - Chamounix Mansion Hostel, 3250 Chamounix Drive (West Fairmount Park), Philadelphia, PA 19131, 215 878-3676, [57]. (,On a scenic bluff above the Schuylkill River and 45 minutes to downtown Philadelphia's cultural and historic attractions. Associated with Hostelling International)


There is a wide variety of hotels located in the city of Philadelphia. Center City is home to a wide variety of moderate and high end hotel chains (thanks to the Philadelphia Convention Center). Hotels usually range from $100 to $200 a night, excluding weeks with major trade conventions.

Cheaper hotels can be found closer to Philadelphia International Airport located in the southwest area of the city.

  • Residence Inn Philadelphia Airport, 4630 Island Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19153, +1 215 492-1611, [58].
  • Marriott Courtyard Philadelphia Airport, 8900 Bartram Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19153, +1 215 365-2200, [59].
  • Philadelphia Airport Marriott, 1 Arrivals Road, Phildelphia, PA 19153, 215 492-9000", [99]. Connected to Terminal B of the Philadelphia International Airport via the skybridge. Has event space for meetings and weddings. Ten miles from downtown Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
  • Philadelphia Airport Hilton This hotel is not recommended for those who travel with their computers. There is no wireless access in any of the rooms (despite the website saying that there is free wireless). The hotel was not very clean (especially in the lobby). The front desk staff were rude and condescending.
  • Park Hyatt Philadelphia, 200 Broad St, +1 215-893-1234, [60].
  • Microtel - Airport, 8840 Tinicum Blvd, 215 492-0700, [100]. Economy/budget hotel offering guests free local and free long distance calls in the continental United States, and free Wi-Fi in every room of their hotels, as well as advance online check-in and check-out with unlimited access to online folio information. Additional location available in West Chester [101].
  • Embassy Suites‎, 9000 Bartram Avenue, tel. (215) 365-4500‎
  • Renaissance Philadelphia Hotel Airport‎, 500 Stevens Dr, PA - (610) 521-5900‎
  • Holiday Inn Stadium – Philadelphia, 900 Packer Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19148, 1-215-755-9500, [61]. Stay at the Holiday Inn Stadium hotel in Philadelphia offering comfortable accommodations, free airport shuttle service, an outdoor swimming pool, and a convenient location near Philadelphia International Airport in Pennsylvania.
  • Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, 117 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, +1 215-563-5006, [62]. A luxury Kimpton hotel in Philadelphia's Center City, near Rittenhouse Square, featuring complimentary wifi and hosted evening wine reception. A LEED registered building following eco-friendly, energy-efficient standards.


Philadelphia is thoroughly covered by all of the major American cellular telephone companies. Cingular Wireless, Verizon Wireless, Sprint-Nextel Wireless, and T-Mobile Communications phones will all receive full service in most parts of the city. As always, service indoors varies according to signal strength, phone brand, and the composition of the building itself.

Wireless Philadelphia, a project that intended to cover the entire city with wireless internet access, is undergoing some management troubles. While the entire city is not yet covered, Rittenhouse Park, as well as many Starbucks and the ING Cafe at 17th and Walnut Streets, are hot spots.



For someone who isn't familiar with either the Mid-Atlantic / Northeast or even just Philadelphia, local lingo in the area can seem rather daunting. Here is a breakdown of Philadelphia's most popular local terms:

  • Wooder Water
  • Youse (guys) You guys, you all. Second-person plural. (Can sound like /juːs/ or /juːz/.)
  • Water Ice A dessert served by local restaurants that features flavored slushy ice. Sometimes called Italian Ice. Pop's, near the corners of Oregon Avenue and Broad Street, is arguably the most popular.
  • Gravy Simple marinara sauce served with Italian food.
  • Coffee Regular Coffee with cream and sugar.
  • Jimmies Chocolate candy sprinkled onto desserts or ice cream.
  • Dis, Dat, Dey, Dees, Doze, Dem, Dough This, That, They, These, Those, Them, Though
  • Hoagie Submarine sandwich.
  • Grinder A toasted hoagie.
  • Pocketbook Purse.

Please note that different neighborhoods within Philadelphia all have slightly different accents, making the language possibly even harder to understand or pick up.

Stay safe

The city is struggling with violent crime, and has one of the worst murder rates in the US among major cities, earning the "City of Brotherly Love" a grim new nickname: "Killadelphia." Sadly, as is the case in most American cities, the vast majority of the murders occur in underprivileged neighborhoods. While tourists are unlikely targets for violence, innocent bystanders have been killed and wounded in shootings near popular destinations. The violence is generally concentrated in the north central portion of the city, and between Drexel University and the Philadelphia Zoo (though the latter location has seen some improvements). It is not wise to walk or even drive too far off Broad Street (PA Route 611) in North Philly around the Temple University area.

However, most of Center City Philadelphia is perfectly safe. Wealthier neighborhoods, like Rittenhouse Square, Old City and Society Hill, are especially safe, as are most central districts, including the majority of West Philly, the Art Museum Area, Chinatown, the Parkway, Bella Vista, the Northern Liberties and parts of South Philly. Some personal crimes (break-ins, muggings, burglary, assault) happen not infrequently, but for the media largely exaggerates the violence and crime in most parts of Philadelphia.

Fortunately, as of December 2009 the homicide rate had dropped 20% over the previous year, continuing a trend of reduced violence in the city.

Also, be careful of traffic when crossing at major intersections--in Philadelphia, as in many major cities, one must always walk, cross streets, and drive defensively. The winding Schyulkill expressway provides some beautiful views, particularly around Boathouse Row, but do not try to enjoy them from your car--with the high speeds, the river on one side, and jagged rocks on the other, this is a sure way to cause an accident.

Get out

  • Allentown, Pennsylvania's third largest city. Home of Dorney Park.
  • Doylestown, Browse world-class museums, including the renowned James A. Michener Art Museum, the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works, the Mercer Museum and Fonthill, a 44-room mansion featured on A&Es “America’s Castles.”
  • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's state capital.
  • Hershey, home of Hershey Park.
  • Lancaster, home of Pennsylvania Amish.
  • Langhorne, PA, Home of Sesame Place. Approximately 30-45 minutes outside Philadelphia. Sesame Place is a one of a kind theme park aimed towards toddlers, pre-school, and grade school children. The theme of the park is based on all of the characters from the children's show Sesame Street. This park is as close to Disney World that the surrounding Philadelphia Area has to offer. The park includes wet and dry amusement rides, games, shopping, live shows, musical parades, restaurants, and meet and greet opportunities with Elmo, Oscar, Bert and Ernie, among other characters. Additional information can be found at
  • Lehigh Valley, region of eastern Pennsylvania north of Philadelphia.
  • New Hope, major shopping center north of Philadelphia.
  • Pocono Mountains, home to some of the nation's leading skiing resorts.
  • Princeton, home to Princeton University, in New Jersey.
  • The Jersey Shore, including Atlantic City, Cape May, Ocean City, and Wildwood. Visiting the Jersey shore is referred to locally as "going down the shore." Atlantic City is home to the Donald Trump casinos as well as the Borgata, Caesar's, and several other casinos. Cape May offers historical tours (and haunted tours!) of the town. And hey, it's a great way to cool off and unwind--and perhaps work off that cheesesteak!
  • Valley Forge, historic site of American Revolutionary War.
  • Washington Crossing, historic site of American Revolutionay War.

Routes through Philadelphia
HarrisburgKing of Prussia  W noframe E  CamdenEND

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